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#21 Rick

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 0649 AM

That's some civil disturbances.

 

December 7, 2019 / 12:49 PM / Updated 17 hours ago
 
Rocket hits Iraqi cleric's home following deadly Baghdad attack
 
 
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A rocket fired from a drone targeted the home of populist Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Saturday, lawmakers from his Saeroon party said, following one of the capital’s bloodiest nights in recent weeks.
 

The drone attack, which caused little damage and left no casualties, followed a deadly attack by armed men near Baghdad’s main protest site on Friday night, which left at least 23 dead, police and medical sources said.

 

Nearly 130 others were wounded by gunfire and stabbings targeting anti-government protesters at the Sinak bridge near Tahrir Square, the sources said. The death toll includes three members of the police.

 

Thousands of Iraqis have occupied the central square and three nearby bridges which lead to the city’s Green Zone, Iraq’s political center, for more than two months, calling for a complete uprooting of the political system.

 

Friday and Saturday’s attacks came days after Iraq’s prime minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, said he would resign.

 

Sadr, a mercurial figure who has supported the protests but not thrown his full weight behind them, was in Iran at the time of the drone attack on his home in the southern holy city of Najaf, a source in his office said.

 

However, a spokesman for his party said the incidents were aimed at pressuring both protesters and political leaders to accept whichever candidate is nominated for the premiership by the ruling elite.

 

“The Sinak massacre and the bombing of (Sadr’s home) is geared at pushing the acceptance of the candidate for prime minister,” said Jaafar Al-Mousawi.

 

Iranian officials including the powerful commander of its Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, stepped in to prevent Abdul Mahdi’s resignation in October, Reuters reported.

 

Soleimani was reported to be in Baghdad this week, negotiating with political leaders for a new consensus candidate for prime minister.

 

MASKED GUNMEN

 

The weekend’s developments marked a drastic escalation to quell the demonstrations, the country’s largest in decades. More than 430 people have been killed since protests began on Oct. 1.

 

Security sources said they could not identify the gunmen who attacked protesters on Friday night.

 

The incident was followed by further intimidation early on Saturday morning, as more unknown gunmen drove in a convoy down the main riverside street which leads to Tahrir Square, firing a volley of shots toward it.

 

The heavily armed, masked gunmen roamed the street near Tahrir Square and attempted to advance onto it but were eventually turned around at a checkpoint manned by Iraq’s security forces, witnesses said.

 

Friday’s deadly attack came hours after Washington imposed sanctions on three Iranian-backed Iraqi paramilitary leaders whom it accused of directing the killing of Iraqi protesters. A senior U.S. Treasury official suggested the sanctions were timed to distance those figures from any role in forming a new government.

 

[...]

 

https://www.reuters....k-idUSKBN1YB09W

 

And the always-dependable French.

 

December 7, 2019 / 3:44 PM / Updated 18 hours ago

 

More French protests see roads blocked, trains disrupted and scuffles in Paris
 
 
PARIS (Reuters) - Truckers blocked roads in about 10 regions around France on Saturday to protest against a planned reduction in tax breaks on diesel for road transport, while train and metro services remained heavily disrupted by a strike against pension reform.
 

In Paris there were scuffles with police in the Denfert Rochereau area of the residential Left Bank as several hundred “yellow vest” protesters continued their weekly demonstrations, but numbers were relatively small compared with previous weeks as the transport strike made it hard to reach the capital.

 

The combined pressure of the yellow vest movement over the cost of living and union protests against pension reform are a major challenge to President Emmanuel Macron’s efforts to balance the state budget and introduce more environmentally friendly legislation in the second half of his mandate.

 

Truckers federation Otre (Organisation des Transporteurs Routiers Européens) said it opposed an increase in taxes on diesel for commercial vehicles as part of the government’s draft 2020 budget.

 

[...]

 

https://www.reuters....s-idUSKBN1YB0DF

Give folks a socialist inch and they end up wanting the socialist mile  :unsure:


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#22 BansheeOne

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Posted 15 December 2019 - 0312 AM

Kidnapping, lynching and deliberate killings: Iraq’s protesters live in fear they ‘could be next’


Family and friends of two Iraqi activists disappeared in Baghdad this week tell The Independent they fear more will vanish

 

Bel Trew Middle East Correspondent | @beltrew

| 14 hours ago |

 

The family and friends of two Iraqi activists disappeared in Baghdad this week have said they fear more will vanish, as the United Nations warned security forces and unknown militias had unleashed a campaign of abductions and “deliberate killings”.

 

Activist Salman Khairallah Salman and his friend Omar al-Amri were last seen on Wednesday morning heading to Baghdad’s Kadhimiya district. There they had hoped to buy tents for an encampment in the capital’s Tahrir Square, the hub of the protest movement.

 

But both stopped answering calls by 10.30am, and by 2.30pm their mobile phones had been switched off.

 

Their disappearances are just the latest in a slew of abductions, which Amnesty said on Friday were part of a “campaign of terror” against protesters.

 

The UN assistance mission in Iraq (Unami) meanwhile said on Wednesday it had credible evidence that thousands of demonstrators have been arrested and held incommunicado, or abducted by “unknown armed men”.

 

Mr Amri’s family told The Independent they believe the two activists were arrested by the security forces and are being held at Baghdad’s al-Muthana airport detention facility for interrogation.

 

[...]

 

It is not known how many people have gone missing since the protests first erupted on 1 October against political corruption that is rife in the country. 

 

More than 440 people, mostly unarmed protesters but also some members of the security forces, have been killed since that date, according to a Reuters tally.

 

Protesters blame Iran-backed militia groups for a spate of other killings including assassinations.

 

Paramilitary groups have denied any role in attacking protests. Government security forces also deny using live ammunition against peaceful protesters.

 

The surge in violence has also seen a string disturbing acts of bloodshed being carried out by unknown groups.

 

On Thursday, a teenage boy was killed and strung up by his feet from a traffic pole in Baghdad after he allegedly shot protesters.

 

Videos circulating on social media show the young man being beaten and dragged across the street, while security forces stand by.

 

In other footage, dozens of people are seen filming and photographing the mutilated body which dangles high above them in a central Baghdad square.

 

It followed the killing of 25 protesters last week in Baghdad’s Khilani Square by gunmen in pick in up trucks. That same week, mysterious knife attacks targeted more than a dozen anti-government protesters in Tahrir Square, the hub of the protest movement.

 

There are conflicting reports as to what exactly happened on Thursday, but Iraqi security officials said an enraged mob beat to death a 16-year-old boy after he opened fire in Baghdad’s Wathba Square, killing two shop owners and four protesters. 

 

But activists told The Independent he was actually killed by security forces who handed the body to the mob who then stabbed him multiple times and strung up the corpse.

 

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Unami’s chief, warned the “gang-driven” acts of violence risk placed the country “in a dangerous trajectory”.

 

In an Unami report released on Wednesday, they identified at least five high-profile activists who have been abducted like Mr Amri and Mr Salman recently.

 

The report urged the government to identify those groups responsible without delay and hold perpetrators accountable.

 

“Demonstrators and activists may be being targeted based on social media posts and their degree of influence or following,” the report stated.

 

“Bearing the primary responsibility for the protection of its people, the state must spare no effort to protect the peaceful protesters from violence by armed actors operating outside state control, as well as those with formal and informal reporting lines within the state,” it added.

 

Amnesty meanwhile has documented instances of assassination attempts against protesters, the deployment of snipers, the use of military-grade skull-shattering tear gas canisters and “a pattern of disappearances and abductions”.

 

It said apart from the abductions in Baghdad a number of activists had also been disappeared in Karbala around the same time.

 

[...]

 

https://www.independ...f-a9246336.html

 

December 14, 2019 / 8:24 PM / Updated 9 hours ago

 
Security forces fire tear gas, dozens wounded in Beirut protest
 
 

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets at Lebanese protesters in central Beirut on Saturday in clashes that went on into the night and wounded dozens of people.

 

Hundreds of people had been marching in the capital as part of a historic wave of protests that has swept Lebanon since Oct. 17, furious at a ruling elite that steered the country toward its worst economic crisis in decades.

 

Since the protests pushed Saad al-Hariri to resign as prime minister, talks between the main parties have been deadlocked for weeks over forming a new cabinet.

 

Lebanon urgently needs a new government to pull it out of the crisis. Foreign donors say they will only help after the country gets a cabinet that can enact reforms.

 

Riot police and security forces deployed en masse in Beirut on Saturday night, chasing demonstrators, beating and detaining some of them, a Reuters witness and a protester said.

 

Plumes of white smoke billowed from tear gas canisters and ambulance sirens rang out as the two sides raced around the streets of central Beirut in cat-and-mouse clashes late into the night.

 

Protesters pelted stones at police and others tried to push through steel barriers blocking paths to the parliament and government headquarters.

 

State news agency NNA said the tear gas made several people faint. The Lebanese Civil Defense said it treated 54 people for injuries, taking more than half to hospital.

 

The Internal Security Forces said at least 20 police were wounded.

 

[...]

 

https://www.reuters....SKBN1YI0JJ?il=0

 

And on a somewhat lighter note:

 

December 14, 2019 / 6:57 PM / Updated 10 hours ago

 
Italy's anti-Salvini 'sardines' take protest to Rome
 
 
ROME (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of people joined a demonstration in central Rome on Saturday organized by a grassroots movement known as “the sardines”, launched only a month ago to protest against far-right leader Matteo Salvini.
 

The sardines began in the city of Bologna in November when Mattia Santori, 32, and three friends invited people to protest against Salvini’s League, whose popularity is high ahead of an election in the northern Emilia-Romagna region.

 

Salvini hopes to lead a resurgent right to its first poll victory in the wealthy region on Jan. 26. He says that if the left loses power there, it should also quit the coalition government in Rome and open the way for a national ballot.

 

Students, pensioners and families with children filled Rome’s Piazza San Giovanni on a sunny afternoon, some holding pictures of sardines on cardboard and chanting a popular resistance song.

 

“I’m here because I’m against Salvini and I’m against the right and I want to see how many people feel like me,” said Flavia Simula, a 68-year old retired biologist.

 

Since their maiden protest in Bologna gathered an estimated 15,000 people, the popularity of the “sardines” has spread.

 

They have held bigger rallies in several Italian cities, including Turin and Milan, to denounce Salvini, whose anti-immigrant, Italy-first rhetoric has resonated with many voters.

 

The demonstration in Rome appeared to be their largest so far, with a policeman at the scene estimating a turnout of 40,000 people. The organizers gave no official figures.

 

[...]

 

https://www.reuters....e-idUSKBN1YI0IA


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#23 BansheeOne

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Posted 19 December 2019 - 1422 PM

Citizenship Act protests: Three dead and thousands held in India

19 December 2019

Three people have died in India and thousands have been detained amid demonstrations against a controversial new citizenship law.

A protest ban has been imposed in parts of the capital Delhi and throughout the states of Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.

The new law offers citizenship to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Critics fear the law undermines India's secular constitution, and say faith should not be the basis of citizenship.

But Prime Minister Narendra Modi has dismissed their concerns, and said the opposition had been spreading lies.

There have been days of protests in India against the law.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in cities across the country on Thursday, despite the police order based on a severely restrictive law which prohibits more than four people from gathering in a place.

Two people died in the city of Mangalore after officers opened fire on demonstrators allegedly trying to set fire to a police station. Commissioner Dr PS Harsha told reporters that a curfew is in place in the city, and that he was waiting for a post mortem before announcing the cause of death for either man.

Another man also died in the city of Lucknow, where violent clashes between demonstrators and police earlier in the day saw buses set alight.

Civil society groups, political parties, students, activists and ordinary citizens put out a steady stream of messages on Instagram and Twitter, urging people to turn out and protest peacefully.

[...]

What is the law about?

The law - known as the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) - offers amnesty to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

The federal government says this is to protect religious minorities fleeing persecution in the three Muslim-majority countries.

But what has made the law especially controversial is that it comes in the wake of the government's plan to publish a nationwide register of citizens that it says will identify illegal immigrants - namely, anyone who doesn't have the documents to prove that their ancestors lived in India.

A National Register of Citizens (NRC) - published in the north-eastern state of Assam - saw 1.9 million people effectively made stateless.

The NRC and the Citizenship Amendment Act are closely linked as the latter will protect non-Muslims who are excluded from the register and face the threat of deportation or internment.

[...]


https://www.bbc.com/...-india-50833361
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#24 Murph

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Posted 21 December 2019 - 1038 AM

What is the real story behind the Indian riots and issues.  If it will protect the shimmies who flee Muslim homicide, why all the protests?  Do India’s muslims want non Muslims persecuted?


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#25 BansheeOne

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Posted 21 December 2019 - 1058 AM

The problem seems to be that in a country which has had no citizenship registry so far, the combination of law declares anybody who can't prove his family has lived there forever an illegal immigrant, then affords only non-Muslims automatic citizenship. That's a little like stripping any American who can't present documents proving his grandparents were legal residents of his citizenship, then giving it back to Christians on the assumption that they fled their homelands from religious persecution. The fact that this is being introduced by a Hindu nationalist government fuels suspicion that it's aimed not just at illegal immigrants, but at disenfranchising Muslim Indians.

 

Oh, and I'm linking to the Yellow Vest thread for future French protest posts, because I just found it back.


Edited by BansheeOne, 21 December 2019 - 1101 AM.

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#26 Rick

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Posted 22 December 2019 - 0316 AM

 

Kidnapping, lynching and deliberate killings: Iraq’s protesters live in fear they ‘could be next’


Family and friends of two Iraqi activists disappeared in Baghdad this week tell The Independent they fear more will vanish

 

Bel Trew Middle East Correspondent | @beltrew

| 14 hours ago |

 

The family and friends of two Iraqi activists disappeared in Baghdad this week have said they fear more will vanish, as the United Nations warned security forces and unknown militias had unleashed a campaign of abductions and “deliberate killings”.

 

Activist Salman Khairallah Salman and his friend Omar al-Amri were last seen on Wednesday morning heading to Baghdad’s Kadhimiya district. There they had hoped to buy tents for an encampment in the capital’s Tahrir Square, the hub of the protest movement.

 

But both stopped answering calls by 10.30am, and by 2.30pm their mobile phones had been switched off.

 

Their disappearances are just the latest in a slew of abductions, which Amnesty said on Friday were part of a “campaign of terror” against protesters.

 

The UN assistance mission in Iraq (Unami) meanwhile said on Wednesday it had credible evidence that thousands of demonstrators have been arrested and held incommunicado, or abducted by “unknown armed men”.

 

Mr Amri’s family told The Independent they believe the two activists were arrested by the security forces and are being held at Baghdad’s al-Muthana airport detention facility for interrogation.

 

[...]

 

It is not known how many people have gone missing since the protests first erupted on 1 October against political corruption that is rife in the country. 

 

More than 440 people, mostly unarmed protesters but also some members of the security forces, have been killed since that date, according to a Reuters tally.

 

Protesters blame Iran-backed militia groups for a spate of other killings including assassinations.

 

Paramilitary groups have denied any role in attacking protests. Government security forces also deny using live ammunition against peaceful protesters.

 

The surge in violence has also seen a string disturbing acts of bloodshed being carried out by unknown groups.

 

On Thursday, a teenage boy was killed and strung up by his feet from a traffic pole in Baghdad after he allegedly shot protesters.

 

Videos circulating on social media show the young man being beaten and dragged across the street, while security forces stand by.

 

In other footage, dozens of people are seen filming and photographing the mutilated body which dangles high above them in a central Baghdad square.

 

It followed the killing of 25 protesters last week in Baghdad’s Khilani Square by gunmen in pick in up trucks. That same week, mysterious knife attacks targeted more than a dozen anti-government protesters in Tahrir Square, the hub of the protest movement.

 

There are conflicting reports as to what exactly happened on Thursday, but Iraqi security officials said an enraged mob beat to death a 16-year-old boy after he opened fire in Baghdad’s Wathba Square, killing two shop owners and four protesters. 

 

But activists told The Independent he was actually killed by security forces who handed the body to the mob who then stabbed him multiple times and strung up the corpse.

 

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Unami’s chief, warned the “gang-driven” acts of violence risk placed the country “in a dangerous trajectory”.

 

In an Unami report released on Wednesday, they identified at least five high-profile activists who have been abducted like Mr Amri and Mr Salman recently.

 

The report urged the government to identify those groups responsible without delay and hold perpetrators accountable.

 

“Demonstrators and activists may be being targeted based on social media posts and their degree of influence or following,” the report stated.

 

“Bearing the primary responsibility for the protection of its people, the state must spare no effort to protect the peaceful protesters from violence by armed actors operating outside state control, as well as those with formal and informal reporting lines within the state,” it added.

 

Amnesty meanwhile has documented instances of assassination attempts against protesters, the deployment of snipers, the use of military-grade skull-shattering tear gas canisters and “a pattern of disappearances and abductions”.

 

It said apart from the abductions in Baghdad a number of activists had also been disappeared in Karbala around the same time.

 

[...]

 

https://www.independ...f-a9246336.html

 

December 14, 2019 / 8:24 PM / Updated 9 hours ago

 
Security forces fire tear gas, dozens wounded in Beirut protest
 
 

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets at Lebanese protesters in central Beirut on Saturday in clashes that went on into the night and wounded dozens of people.

 

Hundreds of people had been marching in the capital as part of a historic wave of protests that has swept Lebanon since Oct. 17, furious at a ruling elite that steered the country toward its worst economic crisis in decades.

 

Since the protests pushed Saad al-Hariri to resign as prime minister, talks between the main parties have been deadlocked for weeks over forming a new cabinet.

 

Lebanon urgently needs a new government to pull it out of the crisis. Foreign donors say they will only help after the country gets a cabinet that can enact reforms.

 

Riot police and security forces deployed en masse in Beirut on Saturday night, chasing demonstrators, beating and detaining some of them, a Reuters witness and a protester said.

 

Plumes of white smoke billowed from tear gas canisters and ambulance sirens rang out as the two sides raced around the streets of central Beirut in cat-and-mouse clashes late into the night.

 

Protesters pelted stones at police and others tried to push through steel barriers blocking paths to the parliament and government headquarters.

 

State news agency NNA said the tear gas made several people faint. The Lebanese Civil Defense said it treated 54 people for injuries, taking more than half to hospital.

 

The Internal Security Forces said at least 20 police were wounded.

 

[...]

 

https://www.reuters....SKBN1YI0JJ?il=0

 

And on a somewhat lighter note:

 

December 14, 2019 / 6:57 PM / Updated 10 hours ago

 
Italy's anti-Salvini 'sardines' take protest to Rome
 
 
ROME (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of people joined a demonstration in central Rome on Saturday organized by a grassroots movement known as “the sardines”, launched only a month ago to protest against far-right leader Matteo Salvini.
 

The sardines began in the city of Bologna in November when Mattia Santori, 32, and three friends invited people to protest against Salvini’s League, whose popularity is high ahead of an election in the northern Emilia-Romagna region.

 

Salvini hopes to lead a resurgent right to its first poll victory in the wealthy region on Jan. 26. He says that if the left loses power there, it should also quit the coalition government in Rome and open the way for a national ballot.

 

Students, pensioners and families with children filled Rome’s Piazza San Giovanni on a sunny afternoon, some holding pictures of sardines on cardboard and chanting a popular resistance song.

 

“I’m here because I’m against Salvini and I’m against the right and I want to see how many people feel like me,” said Flavia Simula, a 68-year old retired biologist.

 

Since their maiden protest in Bologna gathered an estimated 15,000 people, the popularity of the “sardines” has spread.

 

They have held bigger rallies in several Italian cities, including Turin and Milan, to denounce Salvini, whose anti-immigrant, Italy-first rhetoric has resonated with many voters.

 

The demonstration in Rome appeared to be their largest so far, with a policeman at the scene estimating a turnout of 40,000 people. The organizers gave no official figures.

 

[...]

 

https://www.reuters....e-idUSKBN1YI0IA

 

That is good. As I have stated numerous times, I know very little about non-U.S. politics so I wonder if the Italian right is about the same as the U.S. right?


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#27 Ssnake

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Posted 22 December 2019 - 0403 AM

No, it is not. The Italian right contains a fair dose of actual fascists of the Mussolini school.


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#28 Rick

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 0603 AM

No, it is not. The Italian right contains a fair dose of actual fascists of the Mussolini school.

It is interesting on how the meaning of a word in one country has a different meaning in another. In the U.S. the "fair dose of actual fascists of the Mussolini school" would be the left.


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#29 Nobu

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 1307 PM

The problem seems to be that in a country which has had no citizenship registry so far, the combination of law declares anybody who can't prove his family has lived there forever an illegal immigrant, then affords only non-Muslims automatic citizenship. That's a little like stripping any American who can't present documents proving his grandparents were legal residents of his citizenship, then giving it back to Christians on the assumption that they fled their homelands from religious persecution.

That analysis is not exactly what the BJP wants the world to hear.


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#30 Ssnake

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 1813 PM

You won't drag me into this inane debate whether a certain type of totalitarian ideologue falls on the left or the right side of a one-dimensional political spectrum chart, as if this would somehow absolve right-wing totalitarians from their sins. Maybe the Italian far right is actually on the left of your spectrum, what matters is that they want to end democracy for The Greater Good.


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#31 JasonJ

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 1840 PM

Maybe its really a triangle rather then two way spectrum.
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#32 rmgill

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 2034 PM

X axis Left right Liberal/Conservative
Y axis up/down libertarian/authoritarian


Edited by rmgill, 23 December 2019 - 2034 PM.

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#33 Rick

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Posted 24 December 2019 - 0617 AM

You won't drag me into this inane debate whether a certain type of totalitarian ideologue falls on the left or the right side of a one-dimensional political spectrum chart, as if this would somehow absolve right-wing totalitarians from their sins. Maybe the Italian far right is actually on the left of your spectrum, what matters is that they want to end democracy for The Greater Good.

Good point!


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#34 BansheeOne

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Posted 28 December 2019 - 0312 AM

As a sideshow to the Bolivian thing:

 

December 27, 2019 / 3:47 PM / Updated 5 hours ago

 

Mexico says Spanish diplomats' cars blocked by Bolivia at La Paz embassy
 
 
MEXICO CITY/LA PAZ (Reuters) - Mexico’s government said Bolivian police had impeded the departure of Spanish officials visiting the Mexican ambassador in La Paz on Friday, widening a spat over Bolivia’s surveillance of its diplomatic facilities that has rumbled on for days.
 

Two Spanish diplomats were about to leave the Mexican ambassador’s residence when they were told their cars had been detained some minutes away and would not be allowed to re-enter the compound, Mexico’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

 

Mexico says Bolivian authorities have harassed and intimidated its diplomatic staff in a row centering on the Mexican government’s decision to grant asylum to nine people, now housed in its diplomatic facilities in La Paz. Some of them are wanted by Bolivia’s new conservative administration.

 

Interim Bolivian President Jeanine Añez took power last month when long-serving socialist leader Evo Morales resigned and fled to Mexico City after a presidential election that the Organization of American States said was rigged in his favor.

 

Morales’ acceptance of an offer of political asylum from the leftist government of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador strained ties with Añez, an opponent of Morales.

 

On Friday, Mexico’s ambassador eventually made contact with Bolivia’s foreign ministry, which urged the diplomats to exit the premises and walk back to their cars, but they refused to do so without their security details, the statement added.

 

In the end, the two diplomats were collected by a car sent by the Bolivian foreign ministry over an hour later, it said.

 

Bolivia’s Foreign Minister Karen Longaric told a news conference the Spanish diplomats were accompanied on arrival by men with their faces covered trying to enter the residence surreptitiously.

 

As diplomatic personnel are not allowed to conceal their identities, police stopped the masked men going in, she said.

 

“There was an evident threat to the security of the Mexican mission,” she said, adding that she would lodge an official protest with Spain, the European Union and the United Nations.

 

The Mexican statement did not mention the masked men.

 

Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that it would open an investigation into the incident.

 

[...]

 

According to Mexico’s government, Bolivia has issued arrest warrants for at least four of the people inside its embassy.

 

On Thursday, Mexico said it was asking the International Court of Justice to mediate in the dispute.

 

https://www.reuters....y-idUSKBN1YV17G

 


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#35 BansheeOne

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Posted 31 December 2019 - 0357 AM

Following up to the last:

 

Date 30.12.2019

 

Bolivia expels Mexican, Spanish diplomats

 

Bolivia says top Mexican and Spanish were declared persona non grata amid an escalating spat over fugitive former government officials. In response, Spain told three Bolivian officials to leave.

 

Bolivia's interim government on Monday said it was expelling top Mexican and Spanish diplomats amid an escalating dispute over allegations wanted former Bolivian officials sought to leave refuge at the Mexican embassy with Spanish help and flee the country. 

 

Bolivian caretaker President Jeanine Anez said Mexican ambassador, the Spanish charge d'affaires and the Spanish consul were all ordered to leave the country within 72 hours. 

 

"The constitutional government that I preside over has decided to declare persona non grata the ambassador of Mexico in Bolivia, Maria Teresa Mercado, the charge d'affaires of Spain, Cristina Borreguero, and the consul, Alvaro Fernandez," Anez said. 

 

Bolivia also said it had expelled six Spanish security officials it alleges took part in the attempt. The six left the country on Sunday. 

 

Spain said three Bolivian officials were asked to leave the country in response to the "hostile gesture."

 

The dispute centers around nine former officials in the government of ousted Bolivian President Evo Morales who have been charged with sedition, terrorism and electoral fraud. They have been banned from leaving the country and been holed up in the Mexican embassy after being offered asylum there.

 

Tit for tat

 

Mexican Deputy Foreign Minister Maximiliano Reyes said on Monday that his government had not made a decision to declare Bolivia's ambassador persona non grata in response to the move by La Paz, but would look to keep communications channels open.

 

Both Spain and Mexico say the incident at the center of the Bolivian allegations occurred when Spain's charge d'affaires Borreguero paid a visit to Mexico's ambassador on Friday. Spain's Foreign Ministry has said her presence at the embassy was a "courtesy visit" and nothing more.

 

Ongoing spat

 

Morales resigned last month after widespread protests triggered by disputed October elections. He has labeled his ousting a right-wing "coup."  He was subsequently granted asylum in Mexico and is now in Argentina.

 

Bolivia's interrim government has warned of a "very serious problem" for Mexico if its embassy does not hand over wanted officials from Morales' government, while Mexico has accused La Paz of "harassment and intimidation" because of the deployment of police and intelligence officers outside the building.

 

Mexico said last Thursday that it was asking the International Court of Justice to mediate the dispute.

 

https://www.dw.com/e...mats/a-51841221


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#36 BansheeOne

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 0517 AM

Date 12.01.2020

 

Thailand: Thousands protest against government with run

 

Thousands have joined the "Run Against Dictatorship" in the Thai capital, with some protesters showing the three-finger salute made popular by the Hunger Games dystopian trilogy.

 

A large protest against Thailand's military-backed government on Sunday saw thousands join the "Run Against Dictatorship" in Bangkok, with some runners also showing the three-finger salute made popular by the Hunger Games movies.

 

Protesters gathered at a public park for an anti-government run early on Sunday, with Thai billionaire and opposition leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit leading the event.

 

Organizers said over 10,000 people registered to join the "Run Against Dictatorship," marking what appeared to be the biggest anti-government protest since the 2014 military coup, which saw the current Prime Minister and then-army chief Prayut Chan-ocha seize power.

 

"I want a government that takes care of the people and spends money on our well-being and the environment instead of buying tanks and submarines," one of the runners said.

 

Protesters chanted "Get out, Prayut" and "Long live democracy." Before running the 2.6-kilometer (1.6-mile) course, many of the protesters also flashed the three-finger salute inspired by the Hunger Games dystopian franchise.

 

Future Forward faces uncertain future

 

Prayut managed to hold on to power after the 2019 election that the opposition believes was manipulated. The former junta leader is backed by the country's powerful military, and the government is often accused of wielding the country's draconian lese majeste laws as a weapon against political opponents.

 

The anti-military party Future Forward, headed by the opposition leader Thanathorn, is currently facing a threat of dissolution for allegedly attempting to overthrow the nation's constitutional monarchy. Thanathorn has been stripped of his lawmaker status and is facing various charges.

 

The 41-year-old billionaire, however, still enjoys a rock star status among his supporters.

 

"You can feel the anger of the people and their disappointment over the government," the billionaire told AFP news agency before the race. "I think this is the first step to general change in Thailand."

 

Run vs. Walk

 

Originally, the Sunday run was billed as a "Run to Oust the Uncle" in reference to Prayat's nickname, "Uncle Tu."

 

Pro-government activists staged a rival event to the Sunday run in a different Bangkok park, dubbing it "Walk to Support Uncle." While smaller, the walk still drew in thousands of mostly elderly Prayat supporters, reflecting a generational gap in Thai society.

 

"We love our country, we love a government which can provide security to our country," one of the participants told the AFP.

 

https://www.dw.com/e...-run/a-51971259

 

January 11, 2020 / 4:54 PM / Updated 10 hours ago

 
French PM offers concession to unions over pension reform
 
PARIS (Reuters) - French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Saturday offered a major concession to unions contesting his government’s overhaul of the pension system, in a move aimed at ending strikes which are now in their fifth week.
 
Philippe said in a letter to unions and employers that he was prepared to withdraw plans to raise the retirement age for full pension benefits by two years to 64 if certain conditions were met.

 

“The compromise that I’m offering ... seems to me the best way to peacefully reform our retirement system,” Philippe said in a copy of the letter obtained by Reuters.

 

He made the concession after talks between the government and trade unions to break the deadlock failed on Friday.

 

The CFDT, France’s biggest union which is inclined to accept a limited reform, welcomed the move, saying in a statement that it showed “the government’s will to find a compromise”.

 

But the hardline CGT union, which wants the reform dropped altogether, rejected the offer and called on workers to participate in a series of protests planned for next week.

 

The government’s concession comes as tens of thousands of demonstrators marched through eastern Paris against the reform, which aims to replace France’s myriad sector-specific pension schemes with a single points-based scheme.

 

The protest turned violent on its fringes with police firing tear gas and charging groups smashing windows and lighting rubbish bins and billboards on fire.

 

The government’s standoff with the unions is the biggest challenge yet of President Emmanuel Macron’s will to reform the euro zone’s second-biggest economy.

 

Philippe’s government had hoped to create incentives to make people work longer, notably by raising the age at which a person could draw a full pension to 64 while maintaining the legal retirement age at 62.

 

The government has argued that the pension reform, which would be the biggest since World War II, would make the system fairer while also putting it on a more sound financial footing.

 

With one of the lowest retirement ages among industrialized nations, France currently spends the equivalent of 14% of economic output on pensions.

 

Philippe aims to present the reform bill on Jan. 24 so that it can be discussed in parliament starting in mid February with the aim of passing a law before the summer break.

 

[...]

 

https://www.reuters....m-idUSKBN1ZA0MU


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#37 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 0835 AM

the increased ability to communicate nearly instantly may be overwhelming efforts to "listen in" by governments.

Since most all media is geared towards boosting feelings of rage this may be the genie out of the bottle.

There have always been protests and revolutions but the potency of the French Revolution coupled with modern technology is something everyone should be concerned about.


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#38 BansheeOne

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 0313 AM

Lebanon protests turn violent for second night

(Reuters) - Protests in Lebanon turned violent for a second night on Wednesday, with dozens injured after Lebanese security forces used batons and tear gas to forcefully break up demonstrations.

Lebanon has been swept by a wave of mostly peaceful protests aimed at the country's elite that prompted Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri to resign on Oct. 29, pushing the country deeper into economic crisis.

On Tuesday night, riots broke out in Beirut's Hamra area, with bank facades smashed and stones pelted at security forces who fired back with tear gas.

The unrest continued on Wednesday when anti-government protesters hurled stones and fireworks at security forces outside a Beirut police station where some demonstrators were being detained from the night before.

Police dispersed the protests with batons and tear gas.

The Lebanese Red Cross said that 45 people had been injured, 35 of whom had been transferred to hospitals for treatment.

[...]


https://www.reuters....t-idUSKBN1ZE2WP
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#39 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 0442 AM

the increased ability to communicate nearly instantly may be overwhelming efforts to "listen in" by governments.

Since most all media is geared towards boosting feelings of rage this may be the genie out of the bottle.

There have always been protests and revolutions but the potency of the French Revolution coupled with modern technology is something everyone should be concerned about.

There is an apparent correlation between political instability and the rise of new technology. For example, the Printing Press begat Protestantism as ideas were easier to transmit in print form. There was a wave of revolutions across Europe in 1848, which was about the time when Europe was wired up by telegraph. You saw the same thing in 1968, both sides of the Iron Curtain, which would appear to be the point in which most households had a television (in much of America and some of Western Europe, colour television at that). And now its happening again with the rise of the internet, and latterly, mobile telephones. There is a reason why the Arab spring was called the facebook uprising.

 

National Governments everywhere are still stuck in the middle of last century as far as dealing with print and telecommunications is concerned. They have lagged badly behind because we now have a truly international communications system, and there is absolutely nobody who can agree on how to police it. Least of all the multinationals like Facebook.

 

Expect political instability to continue from this point on, at least until national Governments (or pan national governments) figure out how to get a handle on it. It seems to usually take a generation or two to deal with the advances technology brings. As it stands, I would argue you have less revolutions occurring and making use of technology, than the technology being the root cause of the revolutions. Iran at the moment may be discovering this. Who would have thought a cellphone video could be so powerful?


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#40 BansheeOne

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Posted Yesterday, 04:16 AM

Scores wounded as Lebanon's anti-gov't protests turn violent


Police use tear gas, water cannon to disperse Beirut protesters who say they are tired of waiting for change.

 

4 hours ago

 

Scores of people have been wounded in Beirut after security forces used tear gas and water cannon to disperse crowds of anti-government protesters trying to reach Martyrs' Square, the hub of a months-long protest movement calling for changes to Lebanon's political and financial systems.

 

On Saturday, demonstrators set out from various spots in the capital in a march towards the city centre under the slogan: "We won't pay the price."

 

But before they all converged near the road leading to Parliament, dozens of protesters flung rocks, traffic signs and tree branches at security forces guarding the institution, local television channels showed.

 

Security forces sprayed young men with water cannon and lobbed tear gas over a metal fence to disperse remaining protesters on the wet tarmac.

 

The Red Cross said that more than 160 people from both sides were wounded in the clashes.

 

"Over 65 people ... have been taken to nearby hospitals and over 100 people have been treated at the scene," a spokesman said.

 

"A direct and violent confrontation is taking place with anti-riot police at one of the entrances to parliament," the Internal Security Forces said on Twitter.

 

"We ask peaceful protesters to keep away from the site of the rioting for their safety."

 

They published photos of several wounded policemen and a video showing pillars stripped of their tiles, reportedly to be thrown at security forces.

 

Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr, reporting from Beirut, said: "Security forces failed to push protesters away from Martyrs' Square, the epicentre of the protest movement.

 

"People are very defiant. They say the more violence used against us, the more revolutionary we become. They are promising to stay in the streets and continue with their protests action until they see a change in leadership."

 

Angry protesters told Al Jazeera that they would not back down and would continue to demand change. 

 

"Unless things change, life [in Lebanon] is not worth living. We are in an economic crisis and they [politicians] have proven that they are a real failure. We have nothing," a protester near Martyrs' Square said.

 

"It's been a hundred days [since protests began]. And still, who can get hold of their money in the banks? Who has electricity in their homes?" she asked rhetorically.

An AFP news agency photographer saw young men uproot parking metres. He also saw about 10 people faint from the tear gas.

 

President Michel Aoun ordered the army and security commanders to restore calm, while Saad Hariri, who resigned as prime minister in October, said the violence threatened civil peace. "It is an insane, suspicious and rejected scene," he wrote on Twitter..

 

'People are exasperated'
 

The protest movement rocking Lebanon since October 17 was revived this week, over delays in forming a new cabinet to address the country's acute economic crisis.

 

No progress appears to have been made towards a final lineup, which protesters demand be comprised of independent experts and exclude all traditional political parties.

 

[...]

 

 

https://www.aljazeer...8160101017.html


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